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T: Epistrophobia

Thomas Thielen, otherwise known as T, is a German born multi-instrumentalist who started his musical endeavors as a keyboardist before moving on to other instruments. He formed the symphonic prog band SCYTHE in the '90s and released a couple of albums, their last in 2001. Since leaving the band Thielen has released a total of six solo albums beginning with Naive in 2002. His most latest offering titled Epistrophobia was released in late 2016.

With Epistrophobia Thielen continues his 'Chapters' epic he began with the previous album Fragmentropy which is an excellent disc. So, the expectation was very high going into this latest opus and I have to say the results are stellar.

If you are unfamiliar with his music prepare yourself for a very enriching experience. The moody soundscapes and atmospheres form the backbone of Thielen's music, crafted with great nuance and detail. Carptree comes to mind as a good comparison. The excursions into dreamy softness make the heavier parts that much more intense. It is all unveiled in a moodiness that has become a trademark of his music. The disc begins with "In Abeyance" and its unsettling breathing and whispered voices. The listener is kept off balance not knowing where the music will take them. Synthesized beats and soaring guitar rise above the keyboard laden soundscape. At times the music becomes slightly muted, just one of a number of cool effects Thielen employs. There are certainly elements that have a Floyd-like feel. Piano, voices and effects begin "The Dark Beyond Our Fears" with the vocals reminding me of David Bowie. Musically there are even spots reminiscent of Bowie's Outside album, one of is more experimental discs. As the music ebbs and flows between soft and more intense builds the pure artistry of Thielen shines through in waves of coloured textures. The next two tracks "What If" and "What If Not" are both excellent with the former punctuated with soaring guitar and a wonderful vocal arrangement whereas the latter is much heavier with ripping guitar and tricky tempo changes. Again the vocals are a highlight.

Any way you slice it Epistrophobia is an evocative and absorbing listen from an artist who is building an impressive discography with each successive release. This is moody art rock at its absolute finest.

Released on Progressive Promotion Records.

Track Listing:
Chapter 4 A Poet's Downfall
1. In Abeyance
2. The Dark Beyond Our Fears
Chapter 5 Contingencies
3. What If
4. What If Not
5. Forgiven
Chapter 6 That Place Beyond The Skies
6. A Mask Behind A Mask
7. Epistrophe

Added: April 20th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 481
Language: english

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